TODONO-SAN (Mt. Todono)

とうどのさん 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

頭殿山

TODONO-SAN

Mountain on the borders of Shirataka and Asahi Towns. Part of an ancient path to Yudono-san.

Todono-san is situated on the borders of Shirataka and Asahi Towns. Part of the Do’uchi path to Yudono-san, the trail from the Kurogamo hamlet in Shirataka Town opened 600 years ago. This path is also the oldest trail to Oasahi-dake. The author of the 100 Famous Mountains of Japan, Fukada Kyuya, passed the north face of Todono-san on his way to Oasahi-dake. From the summit, you can see Gassan to the north and Oasahi-dake to the west. This makes Todono-san also one of the best spots to take in the Asahi Renpo

Kurogamo Trail up Todono-san (4 hours return)

The path up from the Kurogamo hamlet (Kurogamo Trailhead Map Link) up to the trailhead is all uneven gravel. We recommend 4WD. There are a few turnoffs until the trailhead, just follow the signs. There is space for about 5 or 6 cars to park at the trailhead. Once you set out, you will pass through a bright larch forest until you get to the Tottorijo intersection. Here, take a left to go to Todono-san. Alternatively, if you have the time, take a right turn and check out the great lookout at Kosumi-yama. From the Tottori-jo, head west through a beech forest. Follow the signs at the intersection to the left. You will reach the summit at the top of the steep mountain ridge. 

Asahi Kosen Trail up Todono-san (5 hours return)

From the Asahi Kosen Naturalist's house (website in Japanese, Google Maps link), head north along the road for about 400m. There will be a sign for Todono-san and behind that an area to park your car. The trail starts by going through a cedar forest. Some of the trails haven’t been maintained well. However in the autumn of 2018, a local group came to clear the path, leaving behind markers for reference. After the cedar forest there will be a beech forest, and a number of marshes to traverse.

The path can get narrow in places, so be careful where you step. In saying that, the trail widens as you go up the ridge. Before long, there will be a lookout from where you can see the summit of Todono-san, Shirataka Town, and Nagai city. Once through the beech forest with large oddly-shaped trees, there is the final ascent to the summit. 

Todono-san is one of four mountains easily reached from the Asahi Kosen Naturalist's house. The other three are Oasahi-dake, Okitama Hayama, and Iwaigame-yama.

TODONO-SAN

頭殿山とうどのさん 

Mt. Todono, Todonosan

Todono-san (頭殿山とうどのさん) is a 1203m (3946 ft.) peak in the Okitama and Murayama regions of Yamagata prefecture. Todono-san is best climbed from June to October. Todono-san is a level 3 in terms of physical demand, which means it is moderate to hike, has a B technical grade, which means it doesn't require too much expertise, and you want to allow at least 4 hours for a climb.

Mountain Range

Asahi Alps

Region

Okitama and Murayama

Elevation

1203 (3946 ft.)

Technical Demand

B (doesn't require too much expertise)

Physical Demand

3 (moderate hike)

Trails

Two: 1) Kurokamo Trail (4 hours return), 2) Asahi Kosen (mineral water) trail (5 hours return)

Best time to climb

June to October (until it snows)

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

4 hours

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

PDF Maps by TheHokkaidoCartographer and JapanWilds.org. See all here.

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